In this guide
Does your hamster practically jump out of its fur whenever you’re near them? Well, there can be many reasons for this, but luckily, most have easy fixes.
So, let’s look at why your hamster might be scared of you and what actions you can take to make them feel more comfortable.
Reasons Your Hamster Is Scared of You
There are a few reasons your hamster may be scared of you, and understanding why they’re nervous around you is the first step to rectifying it.
Here are 4 reasons your hamster may be nervous:
- Your hamster is in shock
- Your hamster doesn’t trust you
- You did something suddenly
- Your hamster is shy
Ways to Stop Your Hamster From Being Scared
As you can see, there are a few reasons your hamster could be scared of you. But none of them is cause for concern. So, let’s look at each reason and how to make your hamster less scared of you and more comfortable in your presence.
1. Your hamster is in shock
Taking your new hamster home is an exciting experience, but it can be stressful for your hamster. They’ve been taken out of the environment they’re used to, given to strange people and taken to a new place.
So, your hamster may be shocked by the move and may need some time to adjust to its new home and owners. Of course, this is perfectly normal behaviour for your new hamster, but how do you make them less scared of you?
How to reduce shock in your hamster
To stop your hamster from being scared of you, ensure you are calm and quiet around them when you first take them home. A peaceful environment will help ease the transition.
Here are some things to do to make your hamster less scared of you and their new home:
- Set up their cage with food, water, and fresh bedding.
- Provide a hideout in one corner of their cage, so they have a place to hide and feel safe.
- Give your hamster a few days to get used to their cage – don’t take them out, and don’t hover over them.
Once you’ve let your hamster settle in, it’s time to build trust with your new family member.
2. Your hamster doesn’t trust you yet
Similar to the previous point, your hamster may not have had time to trust you yet.
Understandably, your hamster will need time to build trust with the random human that’s taken them home.
How to build trust with your hamster
To build trust with your hamster, you have to be patient. It can take some hamsters longer than others to adjust to you and learn that they can trust you.
The main way to build trust with your hamster is to give them everything they need. Meet their basic needs, and this will fast-track you to having a trusting hamster and stop them from being scared of you.
A hamster’s basic needs are very similar to our own; food, water, and a clean and cosy home. Once your hamster starts to see that you will always provide them with these things, the trust will soon follow.
Another way to build trust is to hang around their cage and talk to them daily so they can get used to your presence. If they’re a little stand-offish and don’t trust you to hold them yet, simply place your hand inside their cage to start with. Do this regularly for a few minutes so they can get used to your smell.
You can also place a treat in your hand and see if your hamster will take it. Then, slowly build up to them trusting you enough to pet them and eventually take them out of the cage.
Once you’ve established trust with your hamster, that doesn’t mean they won’t be scared of you. So the next point is why your hamster may suddenly become afraid of you.
3. You did something suddenly
Hamsters can’t see that well, so if you make any sudden movements around or towards them, it can easily scare them. However, as they can hear very well, loud noises don’t usually bother hamsters; the quick movements can be why your hamster is scared of you.
How to avoid scaring your hamster
So, as your hamster will jump and get scared if you move too quickly around them, always try to be slow when by their cage. Imagine how terrifying it would be to be the size of a hamster and have a huge human suddenly run at your cage. It would be terrifying, so keep that in mind when around your hamster’s cage.
Another way to keep your hamster calm is to talk to them as you move around, so they know where you are.
But what if you’ve done everything in the above points and your hamster still seems scared of you?
4. Your hamster is shy
Not all hamsters are outgoing and want to be around you at all times. Some hamsters are shy and naturally scare easily. So, your hamster may always seem a little scared of you.
You can’t change a hamster’s preferences and personality, so a shy hamster is something you’ll have to adapt to.
How to handle a shy hamster
All of the points above apply to a shy hamster. Provide them with their basic needs, don’t make any sudden movements, and allow your hamster time to adjust to you.
You can’t force your hamster to be comfortable; if they’re shy, that’s just how they are. You can make them feel more comfortable, but they’ll most likely need more time alone than other hamsters.
So, always be mindful around a shy hamster and be extra aware of when they’re becoming restless. If they keep trying to escape from your hands when you handle them, put them back in their cage. And never wake a sleeping hamster unless you really must.
Stop Your Hamster From Being Scared
Overall, to stop your hamster from being scared of you, you need to provide them with their basic needs, build trust up slowly and gradually, and be mindful of how you move when near your hamster’s cage.
Hamsters naturally scare easily, especially since they’re so small and many things are much bigger. But as long as you’re patient and take the time to understand your hamster’s wants and needs, you’ll have no problem keeping your hamster happy.